Our previous two posts have featured cities of refuge on the western side of Jordan, Kedesh and Shechem. Several passages discuss the cities of refuge, but the one that gives the most information is Numbers 35.
The cities of refuge were Levitical cities. Unlike the other tribes, which were assigned allotments of land for their inheritance, the Levites were given a total of 48 cities, 6 of which were the cities of refuge. “The cities you give the Levites will include six cities of refuge, which you must provide so that the one who kills someone may flee there; in addition to these, give 42 other cities” (Num. 35:6, CSB). Further Moses instructed, “Select three cities across the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan to be cities of refuge”(v.14).
The three cities of refuge in Canaan are set forth as follows, “So they designated Kedesh in the hill country of Naphtali in Galilee, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah” (Josh. 20:7, CSB).
Hebron has a lot of history pertaining to the patriarchs. Not only was it a dwelling place for many of them, it was also a burial-place (Gen. 23:16-20). Our photo here at Hebron was taken with the cave of Machpelah at our back.
For security reasons, Hebron is usually not included on tour to Israel.
Click image for larger view.